Concussion bill signed into law

Published: Apr. 30, 2012 at 10:09 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 22, 2012 at 6:41 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE)- House Bill 281 is now law. Governor Steve Beshear signed the bill at Central High School in Louisville, a school rich in football history. The bill is designed to protect all student athletes in Kentucky who suffer a concussion.

It requires coaches, trainers and athletic directors to not only receive training on how to recognize a concussion but to also act in the best interest of the student's health before allowing that student to play again.

Doctors with Norton Neuroscience Institute were instrumental in helping advise and push for legislation. The risks for concussed players who are sent back into the game prematurely can be devastating if not deadly. "Another concussion essentially leads to brain swelling and that brain swelling can kill you" said Norton Neurosurgeon Dr. David Sun.  

Neurologist Tad Seifert was at Central High for the signing. He says the second hit to a concussed head can be a life-changing blow, "speech, memory, motor skills, it would be very similar to somebody that's had a devastating stroke" said Dr. Seifert.

The bill, sponsored by Representative Joni Jenkins of Shively, didn't meet much opposition. "Making sure we keep those student athletes out long enough for their injuries to heal is very very important" Jenkins said, "and this give the tools to our coaches and athletic directors that I think they need to be very protective of our precious students."

The training will be required as the 2012-2013 school year begins.

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